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Oxford Vs Cambridge: Which One Is Better In 2024?
6 min read

Oxford Vs Cambridge: Which One Is Better In 2024?

6 min read
Uploaded on
Jan 4, 2023
Last updated on
Nov 25, 2023
Uploaded on
Jan 4, 2023
Last updated on
Nov 25, 2023
Oxford vs Cambridge
Clash in the Russell Clan!

Oxford and Cambridge are two of the world's most famous universities, each claiming to be the best. But which is really better? What is the difference between Oxford and Cambridge? Is it the high academic rankings? Famous alumni? Or the beauty of the architecture? This blog will look at a few categories, from student satisfaction to international students, to tell you the difference between Oxford and Cambridge! 

The United Kingdom has two super famous universities: Oxford and Cambridge. People often compare them to see which one is better. Oxford and Cambridge are both really fancy and have a great reputation. People look at things like how well they teach, the different courses they offer, and what it's like to live there. These universities are like superstars in the education world, and it's cool to see which one comes out on top in rankings and stuff. But, you know, they're both awesome and a bit pricey to attend. It's like choosing between two really cool parties that both have their perks.

Oxford vs Cambridge

Oxford vs Cambridge has been a recurring rivalry since the 12th century. As the only two universities at the time, both had their fair share of students who lived on campus. The academic duo would reshape how education was delivered in the United Kingdom, with some traditions still practiced today.

Despite their rivalry, the two universities have a lot in common. The colleges of Oxford and Cambridge are independent entities, each with its buildings, independent income, and distinct identity. Both universities also have their own esteemed publishing houses, apply similar teaching methods, and carry about the same level of prestige and prominence as the two top universities in Europe based on the metrics of the three major ranking outfits.

Oxford and Cambridge are two really famous universities that people like to talk about together, so they made up a word, "Oxbridge." It's used a lot in the UK and everywhere else. Now, let's see what makes Oxford and Cambridge different. 

Overview of Oxford University

Oxford University is really old, starting way back in 1096. It doesn't have one big campus but has 44 colleges and the biggest library system in the UK. More than 20,000 students go there, and 40% are from outside the UK.

Overview of Cambridge University

Cambridge University is also super famous, and together with Oxford, they are seen as the best in Europe and the world. Some rankings say they are the very best, while others put them in the top ten. But it doesn't mean one is way better than the other because they offer slightly different courses, and in the rankings, the difference is tiny.

Oxford vs Cambridge: World University Ranking 

Both Oxford and Cambridge universities are on the top, but let's look at it in detail. 

1. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is one of the highest-rated universities in the world. Being one of the oldest universities, the University of Oxford has gained a reputation for being one of the top universities in the world. Here are the rankings for the University of Oxford: 

1. 4th QS World University 2024

2. 1st Times Higher Education 2022

3. 2nd QS World University 2022

university ranking of oxford and cambridge

2. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is one of the most prestigious and premier universities in the world. Being a popular university, Cambridge has climbed the ladder for rankings throughout its previous years. Here are the rankings for the University of Cambridge: 

  1. 2nd QS World University 2023
  2. 3rd QS World University 2022
  3. 4th World University Rankings 2022

Oxford vs Cambridge: Subject Strengths

As we look at both the universities and compare their subjects, we will see that there isn't much difference among them. Oxford and Cambridge are world leaders in their list of courses and often rank among the top ten for many courses. According to the QS World University Rankings by Subject, Oxford and Cambridge both have made appearances in this list. Oxford University makes up to 40 subjects, and Cambridge makes 41 appearances in the subject strengths part. As we look at them individually, we can understand the real difference between Oxford and Cambridge:

1. Oxford University

Oxford University is known to be strong in the humanities subject area, with world-renowned courses in Social Sciences too. However, Oxford Univeristy does not provide flexible science degrees and courses. Students can always apply for a joint degree for their preferred courses. Oxford University is the leader and is also ranked first in English Language and Literature, Geography, History and Modern Languages.

2. Cambridge University 

Cambridge University is world-renowned for its Natural Sciences courses. The university also has the benefit of offering joint courses and flexible natural sciences degrees, where you can combine any biological and physical science degree to have a degree for yourself. However, unlike Oxford, you can study as an undergraduate, too. Cambridge University currently ranks first in the world for Archaeology, History, and Mathematics.

Oxford vs Cambridge: Courses Offered

Oxford and Cambridge have some differences in the courses they offer. Some courses are the same, but each has unique ones. They also teach joint courses differently. Both universities have lots of programs for learning and researching, but Oxford does it more traditionally with lectures and tutorials. On the other hand, Cambridge is more interactive, with seminars and small group discussions. Let's check out the courses and their rankings to see how Cambridge and Oxford are different!

Oxford vs Cambridge: Admission Requirements

Oxford and Cambridge are picky when it comes to letting students in. They want really good grades and achievements. Besides looking at grades and test scores, they also check other stuff like personal statements, recommendation letters, and what you do outside of classes, like clubs or activities. It's not easy to get in because they set the bar high!

Oxford vs Cambridge: Cost of Education and Living

Oxford and Cambridge are expensive universities, more than others in the UK. But don't stress; they have ways to help with money. If you're from another country, what you pay depends on your course. Living in Oxford and Cambridge costs a lot, especially rent, but the colleges help by making living costs less for students. Plan your budget for living, food, and books, and check out how much it costs to live there! If you are planning to move to Cambridge, you need to check out the best cafes in Cambridge.

Oxford vs Cambridge: Scholarships and Bursaries

scholarships offered by oxford and cambridge

One difference between Oxford and Cambridge is the scholarships and bursaries provided by the colleges. There are a few common scholarships that the UK gives out, like the Chevening scholarship and Commonwealth scholarships! But both colleges give out high-end scholarships and bursaries that can change your life and make your career! 

Scholarships provided by the University of Oxford

These are the scholarships provided by the University of Oxford:

1. Hill Foundation Scholarship

The Hill Foundation Scholarship is a fully funded scholarship that covers 100% of course fees and a grant for living costs.

2. Bright Oceans Corporation Scholarship

This scholarship is a fully funded scholarship for undergraduate students. It  Covers course fees and a grant for living costs.

3. Palgrave Brown Scholarship

Covers An annual grant of at least £13,365 towards living costs. Students who are undertaking a 6-year medical degree would only receive funding for the first four years of the course.

4. Reach Oxford Scholarship

The Reach Oxford Scholarship covers course fees, a grant for living costs, and one return airfare per year.

5. Dr Ateh Jewel Foundation Awards

This scholarship is a need-based scholarship that covers your expenses up to £3,300. This scholarship is for students from low-income families, which will help them cover their education costs and also help them achieve their dreams. 

Scholarships provided by the University of Cambridge

These scholarships show the difference between Oxford and Cambridge!

1. Aker Scholarship

This is a fully funded need-based scholarship. The amount may change, but enough to make sure that the full cost of study at the University of Cambridge is covered. 

2. Beit Cambridge Scholarship

Covers University tuition fees, an annual stipend, and other allowances.

3. Cambridge International Scholarship

Covers the University Composition Fee and a maintenance allowance enough for a single person.

4. Marshall PhD Scholarship

Covers International Fees and Maintenance.

5. Cambridge Trust Scholarship

Covers partial contribution towards the tuition fees.

Oxford vs Cambridge: Sports Competitions

The Oxford vs Cambridge rivalry is well-known. So, it's understandable that there is frequent competition between the two outside of academic rankings. The universities often compete annually in lots of sports, including cricket, ice hockey, and polo.

The most famous is The Boat Race, an annual set of rowing races between the two universities on the River Thames. Sometimes known as the University Boat Race or the Oxford vs Cambridge Boat Race. Other big competitions between Oxford and Cambridge include the Rugby Union and Rugby League Varsity Match. 

The debate is always ongoing between Oxford vs Cambridge. However, it is for you to decide which is the best as every university has its own perks and both the universities are acing in all their fields. Choose the one that suits you the best as this debate is never-ending.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better - Oxford or Cambridge?

Is Oxford harder than Cambridge?

Why can't you apply to Cambridge and Oxford?

What is the main location difference between Oxford and Cambridge?

What are the academic differences between Oxford and Cambridge?

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